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Dubai financial exchange makes SAN investment

The newly-opened Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) is aiming to be a world-class exchange, and it is looking to technology provided by HP to help it achieve its goal.

The newly-opened Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) is aiming to be a world-class exchange, and it is looking to technology provided by HP to help it achieve its goal.

DIFX, Dubai’s newest stock market, which began trading in September, revealed this month that HP is one of its key IT suppliers, with its systems being based on HP’s storage area network (SAN) technology.

While the automated trading platform for DIFX, known as NSC, is currently hosted in Paris, the head of IT for DIFX described the HP system as a “robust” product that will serve the exchange’s future requirements.

DIFX had initially approached HP with the view of implementing a cluster of Unix servers to be used to run its market surveillance application.

“When we met with HP earlier this year, they offered not just an understanding of our specific requirements but had the experience and expertise to back their recommendations,” said Kris Kristensen, head of IT at DIFX, in a statement.

“It was HP that introduced the concept of storage consolid- ation and SAN to us, as well as the possibility of installing HP Non-Stop servers at DIFX, to serve our long-term needs,” he went on to add.

The HP implementation at the DIFX is based on two XP12000 storage systems, three rp HP/UX systems, and 35 Bl20p blade systems running a combination of Windows and Linux, along with HP installation support services.

Kristensen said that resilience, redundancy and security were the three key factors in building up the exchange’s technology systems.

“It needs to have 100% uptime and it is very close to that. And certainly nobody should be able to penetrate the network,” he said.

A disaster recovery site created at a separate location in Dubai makes the exchange’s operations ‘bullet-proof’, according to Farid Gemayel, HP sales manager for the financial services industry.

“It never stops; it never fails. We can’t afford to have any downtime,” he said of the IT infrastructure.

“HP has implemented a scaleable and reliable infrastructure that is geared to help DIFX reduce costs and move into real-time transaction processing,” he added.

“At the same time, our end-to-end solutions will help improve operational efficiency, provide services for more instruments, and reduce risk to market participants,” Gemayel continued.

HP’s UAE-based reseller, PACC Mideast Data Systems, jointly provided project management and server installation services as well as implementing the telecommunications requirements for DIFX.

The automated trading platform is supplied by AtosEuronext, which is 50% owned by Euronext stock exchange, and is based on its NSC electronic trading platform.

NSC was originally developed for the Paris Bourse and is now used in more than 15 exchanges around the world.

The NSC trading engine processes several million orde- rs per day and more than 1000 orders per second for a given market segment. AtosEuronext is also supplying the market surveillance system, Aramis.

TCS, part of India’s huge Tata group, is supplying software for clearing and settlement.

HP said that its Non-Stop servers are used by 90% of the world’s leading international stock exchanges, including New York and London.

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